While the landscape and design installations at the Philadelphia Flower Show provided theater for the crowds of people coming to see bold bedding schemes and mass-effect displays of spring bulbs, where the show really delivered for me was in the category of horticulture - in particular, the amateur horticulture (which seems like a silly term when on thinks about the many excellent specimens grown by knowledgeable enthusiasts and horticulturists at this show), but this show has a history of attracting some of the finest growers in the North East and Mid Atlantic who bring their most choice orchids, alpine and cacti to name a few, to display and to win ribbons and awards.
|As if a designer went crazy, this almost unbelievable plant is an orchid - Oberonia setigera raised and entered by Christopher Satch, of the Rutgers Alumni Growers & Exhibitors.|
Good flower shows are ideal places for seeing rare or unusual plants, and I can't help myself when I see a plant that is new to me. A few years ago while visiting the Tokyo Dome to see the World Orchid Congress exhibition, I left with a short list of orchids that I had to track down ( and, I few I did such as the massive Dendrobium speciosum which is in bud in my greenhouse right now - and could grow as large as my greenhouse!), but the Dendrobium x delicatum (seen above) is now tops on my must-get list. It's always a danger adding to ones must-get list when visiting a good flower show!
So, beginning with orchids here, I began building said wish list - because the horticulture at the Philadelphia Flower Show is so fine.
|Barbara Inglessis a member of the South Jersey Orchid Society entered this beautifully specimen of Maxillaria sanguinea.|
|A rare and challenging to grow and force alpine, Dionysia aretioides captured plant geeks' hearts. Each raised and entered by John F. Ray, a member of the North American Rock Garden Society.|
THE IMPRESSIVE ALPINES
I had heard about some of the alpine displays at the Philadelphia Flower Show, but I never expected to see what lay before me here - dionxysia's ( not the extremely challenging ones seen in the great UK shows, but any dionysia in North America is worthy enough to make headlines in any horticultural journal, surely something most show attendees here probably missed, but these little pots and troughs in the alpine classes impressed me greatly. There are some very talented alpine growers in the Philadelphia area!
|The alpine plants in the NARGS Delaware Valley Chapter was superbly grown unusual and challenging species.|
|Congratulation to everyone from the NARGS Delaware Valley Chapter for their huge and prestigious win at this premiere flower show!|
|This trough by John F. Ray took a few top ribbons, but most impressive were the number of entries in this category. Rock gardening is experiencing a reprise, I think.|
|Mr. Ray labeled each plant ( a requirement) but a map helps the viewer!|
|Another well planted trough with authentic and well grown alpine plants entered by John F. Ray.|
|The striking blossoms of Edgeworthia chrysantha on a well-branched specimen. For some reason, I can never smell the scent on these yet everyone else can. Noses can be like that sometimes!|
OTHER INTERESTING AND INSPIRING PLANTS AND DISPLAYS
|Edgeworthia chrysantha may be fine shrub for warmer zones, but it also is growable in containers in colder, northern gardens. My plant is just beginning to bloom in the greenhouse, yet spends the summer outdoors.|
|Exhibitors' collections of Hoya selections and varieties show how one should grow Hoya on ring forms, and demonstrates what a nice collection could look like. I visited Logee's greenhouses this week, but resisted. I resisted. I did.|
|This inspired me to amp-up my scented geranium training skills! Come on - really? A bit of France in a pot, right?|
|The star of the show for many horticulturists and designers was this planting scheme by the landscape design firm TOOP, founded by Carrie Preston a New Jersey native who moved to the Netherlands.|
|The color and size of these two plants stuck me - the red oxalis and the big tuberous sinningia with silvery leaves. Who needs green with colors like this? Maybe it's time to raise the bar on your houseplant selection.|
|Speaking of houseplants, here was a new one for me - Begonia lanceolate, an lovely specimen raised and entered by Janet Welsh of the Huntingdon Valley Garden Club.|